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Compensation Standards and Resources

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UUA Compensation Standards

In February 2020, the UUA shifted from Compensation Guidelines (salary and benefit recommendations) to Compensation Standards. While we continue to provide recommendations for salaries and benefits, the new UUA Compensation Standards also include legal requirements related to pay and benefits administration. Complying with laws related to compensation is foundational to right relationship between employer and employee.

The the UUA Compensation Standards include related pages and resources for each of the following:

1. Legal Requirements for Pay and Benefits Administration

2. UUA Salary Recommendations

3. UUA Benefit Recommendations


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Salary and Payroll Resources

If your congregation has any paid staff, you are an employer and are subject to laws, rules and other standards! We want to help you be confident in your pay practices! Our guidelines and resources will help you establish appropriate salaries and benefits, understand wage and hour law, manage ministerial payroll, and more.

More On Salary and Payroll

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UUA Benefit Recommendations

The UUA Fair Compensation Guidelines.were adopted by the 1995 UUA General Assembly. In February 2020, the UUA shifted from Compensation Guidelines to Compensation Standards. The new UUA Compensation Standards include legal requirements for pay and benefit administration, while continuing to provide recommendations for benefits (and salaries).

More on UUA Recommended Benefit Levels

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Quick Benefits Overview

This Benefits Summary Chart (PDF) provides an overview of eligibility, enrollment windows, and congregational requirements for all of our benefit plans.

Quick Benefits Overview

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UUA Benefits Tune-Up Workbook

Stay legally compliant! Our Benefits Tune-up Workbook (PDF) (Word) is designed to help you tp understand the basics of our benefit plans, ensure that you have good protocol in place for benefits administration, check that internal documents and policies are consistent with Plan rules, and confirm that all is in order or be alerted to necessary adjustments.

UUA Benefits Tune-Up Workbook

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Employee Benefit Change Form

Report all employee changes affecting insurance on this Employee/Benefits Change Form. (For employees changing congregations, see the Transitioning Benefits page.)


Employee Benefit Change Form

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Benefit Plans Available Through the UUA

The UUA wants to help our congregations live into their values by offering insurance plans that protect their employees, including health plans that reflect UU values. The UUA Retirement Plan enables every employee of a participating congregation to save for their future. Life and Long Term Disability insurance protect your employees’ income in case of the unexpected. Good Dental coverage is essential. Health insurance promotes responsible preventive care and protects employees and their families from catastrophic medical bills.  Health plans vary widely in their benefits and cost. Our UUA plans have a long history of lower rate increases than all of the major insurers. Our benefits are competitive, and the plans have always done their best to live up to our UU values, offering fuller coverage for people of all identities and for families of all shapes and sizes.

UUA Sponsored Insurance & Retirement Plans

November is Insurance Plan Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment for the UUA Health & Dental Plans

Open Enrollment for the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Heath and Dental Plans for all eligible staff takes place each November for the next calendar year.

Open Enrollment For The UUA Health & Dental PlAN

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Compensation Consultants

Compensation Consultants help congregational leaders understand the UUA Compensation Guidelines and navigate the complexity of ministerial and staff compensation, benefits, and employment agreements.

Find Your UUA Compensation Consultant

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Employee Professional Expense Allowances

U.S. tax law provides that congregations and other organizations that employ ministers and other religious professionals may consider certain items as usual business expenses. Such expenses are not included in the compensation paid to individuals; they are part of the necessary expenses of the organization and are not reported for income tax purposes.

Employee Professional Expense Allowances

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Compensation Worksheet

This Compensation Worksheet will help you budget for benefits, based on UUA recommendations.

How to Budget for Benefits


Compensation Pointers and Pitfalls Webinar Resources

Here are the slides and recording from our September 2020 webinar on compensation administration, covering worker classification, ministerial tax provisions, benefits administration, and more.

About the Authors

Jan Gartner

Jan is passionate about helping congregations live out their values within their walls!...

UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances

The UUA Office of Church Staff Finances states its own mission as follows: Guided by the values of our faith, we equip congregations for excellence as employers and their staff for financial competence and well-being. Information, services, and programs are provided to congregational leaders and...

For more information contact ocsf@uua.org.